Not many boats have the ability to connect you with Mother Nature that way an open, center console can. The problem is that there’s only so much you can do with the layout, that it makes one wonder how a company can compete with all the other center consoles on the market. Well for starters, Grady-White’s 50 year track record has to speak for itself. Their boats are well known as strongly built and able sea boats. But that’s not enough for this builder. And that’s good news for the customer.
The “Fisherman” series from Grady-White is a line of center console boats with this 17'10" (5.44 m) model starting the progression.
Safety Built In
Because this is a center console, we can assume that she's not a boat that will be hanging around a protected river or lake. These boats lend themselves more to coastal fishing - not far from home, and relative safety, but far enough out in open water to warrant an added layer of protection from Mother Nature. In the case of the Fisherman 180, her cockpit depth of 22" (55.9 cm) will keep us securely onboard when the boat starts rocking. Larger boats will have deeper cockpits, but for a boat this size, it will suffice.
Something we see lacking in a lot of boats in this class is bowrails. Some have them, some don’t. With the 180, Grady-White has installed low profile rails that will give stability when moving fore and aft. If you like more comfort from raised rails, you can have them as an option.
The ability to cross over to a family boat has its merits, and on the Fisherman 180, the addition of bow cushions will turn the forward raised casting deck into a lounge area.
Unique to Grady
As we look closer we see that there are some features distinctive in this boat. Just ahead of the console, we always see a removable cooler with a cushion on it. It’s easy to do and more important, it’s cheap to do. Not so on the Fisherman 180 where we see a seat molded in. This is much better for so many reasons, not the least of which is security for hanging onto in rough seas. You can use it as storage, or as a cooler, but some may opt for converting it into an aerated livewell.
We also love that there are vertical rod holders on the side of the forward seat. You can’t do that with a carry-on cooler.
Grady-White offers an option of converting the forward seat to an 11 gallon (41.6 L) aerated livewell. Notice the vertical rod holders mounted to the side. Neither of these features would be possible with a typical carry-on cooler that we usually see on center consoles.
Another feature we like to see is a freshwater washdown. The problem is, we typically see this added to boats once they reach the 20’ (6.10 m) range. But Grady-White included one, albeit as an option, on their starter boat as well. This one is plumbed to a 10 gallon (39.7 L) tank.
Grady-White provides ample room to the sides of the console and a roomy bow storage compartment for ground tackle. If you keep your boat at a marina, instead of trailering, then you may want to explore an additional midships cleat.
What could be better than coming home with a hold full of blues? These are packed into a 89 qt. (84.2 L) insulated fish box with an overboard drain
Moving aft a bit, we find a helm with open space for electronics. More and more we see this feature, and it’s good that builders recognize the need for this sort of space, even if the boat won’t be straying far from home.
Can you spot the horn switch at a glance? With multi-function gauges, the 180 helm is uncluttered and ready to accept a flat screen panel. Up above, Grady-White correctly mounted the compass in line of sight to the helm. We always see compasses mounted in the center. Good for the obsessive/compulsive, bad for the navigator.
The 316 grade stainless wheel is connected to no-feedback mechanical steering. The bench seat is reversible, which is ideal for trolling with a foot braced against the motor well. As usual, we see an acrylic windshield, but this also has a full stainless grab rail surrounding it.
Another departure with Grady-White is the aft seats. These are built in, and we’d rather see them removable, to facilitate access all the way to the transom for fish fighting.
Raw water washdown is also offered as an option, because you sometimes need to clean up without exhausting your fresh water supply. Behind the hatch is room for an optional second battery and switch.
There’s only one canvas option on the 180 and it’s for a Bimini top. While shade is a valuable commodity on any boat, we’d also like to see a cockpit cover, or at least a console cover.
Grady-White sees the value of limiting choices of engines in this package. It allows for the factory to pre-rig all their boats the same. That makes one price, and one set of procedures. The engine of choice is the popular Yamaha F150 four-stroke. This engine has a solid reputation for delivering reliable power with excellent fuel efficiency.
While we haven’t tested this model yet, the team at Grady-White tell us that they’ve reached a top speed of 47.7 mph with a fuel burn of 15.3 gph. Dialed back to a more economical cruise of 25.3 mph the 180 shows a much more reasonable 5.1 gph fuel burn. With a 60 gallon (227 L) tank you’ll have a range of over 267 miles (429.7 km) with a 10% reserve.
Love affairs with boats come and go with the tide, but Grady-White seems to have found its niche and generates more than its fair share of brand loyalty. Looking at the features and it’s easy to see Grady-White putsa little extra into every boat, even those at the beginning of the food chain. That says a lot, and if you can hook a customer with your smallest, odds are, he’s going to stay with you when he moves
Standard and Optional Equipment
Grady-White 180 Fisherman (2011-) Standard and Optional Equipment
Washdown: Raw Water
Outlet: 12-Volt Acc
= Standard = Optional
Grady-White 180 Fisherman (2011-) Warranty
Grady-White 180 Fisherman (2011-) Warranty Information
Warranties change from time to time. While BoatTEST.com has tried to ensure the most up-to-date warranty offered by each builder, it does not guarantee the accuracies of the information presented below. Please check with the boat builder or your local dealer before you buy any boat.
Full Warranty Information on this brand coming soon!
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